The first edition of the Sommeliers Choice Awards, which judges wines based on quality, packaging and value, saw a plethora of entries from across the globe, including USA, Italy, France, South Africa, Australia, and more.
Weingut Reichsrat von Buhl GmbH’s Armand Riesling Kabinnet snatched a double gold medal, grabbing “White Wine of the Year”, “White Wine of the Year (By the Glass)” , “Wine of the Year (By the glass)”, “Wine of the Year by Country (Germany)” and “Wine of the Year by Varietal (Riesling)”.
Not to be outdone, USA also found its place in the special category medal list. Hedges Family Estate’s Descendants Liegeois Dupont (DLD) Syrah seized a double gold, securing 4 special category awards, namely, “Wine of the Year” , “Red Wine of the Year” , “Wine of the Year by Country (USA)” and “Wine of the Year by Varietal (Syrah)”.
Sparkling wines also found their place on the on-premise map, with Schlumberger by Niche Import Co. securing “Sparkling Wine of the Year” and Zonin Prosecco by Zonin USA Inc grabbing “Sparkling Wine of the Year by the Glass”.
AOP Vin de Savoie Chignin Bergeron Old Vines, Château de la Gentilhommiere by Vignobles Perceval took home “Wine of the Year by Country” from French entries, whilst Mitchell Wines by Red Earth Wines grasped “Wine of the Year by Country” amongst all Australian entries.
According to Sid Patel, CEO of event organizer Beverage Trade Network, “the idea of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is to put the best judges forward to evaluate the best on-premise wines for the consumers. We were very pleased with the quality of the wines we received in the first year of the competition”
Wines entered at the Sommeliers Choice Awards were tasted and assessed by upwards of twenty wine industry professionals. The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards consisted entirely of top sommeliers, wine directors and on-premise buyers at US restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. Some of these sommeliers are also wine consultants for on-premise establishments. In addition, they also have buying roles in the industry.
2019 Sommeliers Choice Awards’ judge Marc Kauffman said “I really enjoyed the judging. I think this format is very valuable. In fact, it is to my knowledge the only on-premise focused judging of wines anywhere. This competition definitely offers producers a way to differentiate their wines and focus on restaurants. The “by the glass” category is also very valuable for evaluating a potential selection. If anything, we all were intent on looking at the better points of the entries rather than trying to downgrade for flaws which is the more standard practice at most “traditional” wine judging”. Wines are also being judged by package.
2019 Sommelier Choice Awards Winners
Hedges Family Estate, Descendants Liegeois Dupont (DLD) – Wine of the Year
Weingut Reichsrat von Buhl GmbH, Armand Riesling Kabinnet – White Wine of the Year
Chateau Minuty Rose Et Or – Rose Wine of the Year
Niche Import Co, Schlumberger – Sparkling Wine of the Year
Brown-Forman, Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley – Red Wine of the Year By The Glass
Zonin USA Inc, Zonin Prosecco – Sparkling Wine of the Year By The Glass
Red Earth Wines, Mitchell Wines – Wine of the Year by Country (Australia)
Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, Leopards Leap Culinaria Chenin Blanc – Wine of the Year by Country (South Africa)
Guarachi Wine Partners, VIK Milla Cala – Wine of the Year by Country (Chile)
Teachworth Napa Valley – Wine of the Year by Varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Elaine Wines LLC, Elaine – Wine of the Year by Varietal (Chardonnay)
Bird in Hand – Wine of the Year by Varietal (Sauvignon Blanc)
To access the full list of winners, click HERE
About the Sommeliers Choice Awards
The Sommelier Choice Awards provides on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list. Wines at the Sommeliers Choice Awards are judged on the basis of Quality, Value, and Packaging, by a panel of on-premise wine industry experts.